Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Adam Robertson

Archaeological dig unveils discoveries dating back thousands of years

A RECENT archaeological excavation in Argyll has unearthed new discoveries which could date back as far as 5000 years.

The excavation at Glendaruel’s Stronafian Community Forest in Cowal, Argyll, involved 25 volunteers from across the area as well as 40 schoolchildren from Kilmodan Primary, Strachur Primary and Dunoon Grammar.

The dig lasted 12 days from September 25 in an area which is rich with numerous Bronze Age and Neolithic sites.

Dig organisers also ran an artefact handling workshop at Kilmodan Primary School and hosted an open day as part of Scottish Archaeology Month.

Andy Jepson of Archaeology Scotland led the dig and commented: “At Creag Liath, sufficient evidence was found to suggest human occupation during past explorations and this year’s dig started with the re-opening and extending of Trench One which had previously been located over a possible stone wall.

“An upright stone of considerable size was found in the trench with its presence and function triggering much debate.”

He added that “eagle-eyed volunteers” also started to find pottery.

“The most exciting was two small sherds of reddish-brown gritty ware, identified as a rim and believed to be either Bronze Age or Neolithic in date,” Jepson explained.

The National: The pieces found date back thousands of yearsThe pieces found date back thousands of years (Image: Go Pro Marketing)

“Further analysis needs to be conducted on the sherds to provide a clearer provenance. The same day a sherd of post-Medieval pottery was located.

“As the dig progressed it was clear that we had a substantial wall, approximately one metre in width, forming the footprint of a structure that was sub-rectangular in shape. Finding the internal turn of the wall was one of those Eureka moments.

“How the wall related to the next cell became the new challenge. Were the second and third cells contemporary with the first or did they represent a different phase of construction? Questions that further excavation will hopefully answer.

“Trench Two, opened in 2022, was re-opened and excavation continued to determine if a stone wall formed the boundary of this cell and whether a break in the stone bank was evidence of a threshold or entrance.  A new trench, Trench Three, was located over a potential sunken path leading to the entrance of the main structure and by the end of the dig this had started to reveal some intriguing contexts.

The National: Further analysis on the shards will need to be conductedFurther analysis on the shards will need to be conducted (Image: Go Pro Marketing)

“A big thank you to all the volunteers who got involved, the many schoolchildren and staff who really got stuck in as well as to the Cruach Mhor Wind Farm Trust and Historic Environment Scotland for funding the excavation.

“The weather was, at times, challenging but everyone continued undeterred and we will be back next year to further explore what is looking to be a real archaeological gem on the Cowal peninsula.”

Debbie Kirby, one of the volunteers involved in the dig, commented: “What an opportunity this was for the community of Glendaruel and Colintraive.

"Not only were we supported in the investigation of the site but we were also trained in the process. We're looking forward to finding out more about grey stones next year and hope that more volunteers will participate in what is turning out to be a very interesting prehistorical project.”

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.